Labyrinth 90 by Oliver de la Paz


The boy in the labyrinth is full of love. Full of inferences. The mysteries of the maze are mysteries because there are no windows. The insides are all sewn shut. So when the boy feels something, really feels it, he knows it is a thing not to be given up. It is a thing to remember and to constantly ask am I awake? am I awake? The answer is in all directions. The tunnels fork into smaller and smaller tunnels. The cicada sings its paradiddle. A door is pried open. A heart is run through with a spear. All these possibilities turn the compass rose upside down. What’s left of the boy’s sense of direction floats upward with the bull man’s hot breath.



Oliver de la Paz is the author of four books of poetry: Names Above Houses, Furious Lullaby, Requiem for the Orchard, and Post Subject: A Fable. He co-edited A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poems, and co-chairs Kundiman’s advisory board. He teaches in the MFA program at Western Washington University.